Ewan wins crash-marred Stage 5, De Marchi keeps Giro d’Italia lead

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CATTOLICA, Italy — Australian cyclist Caleb Ewan won a crash-marred fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia and Alessandro De Marchi kept hold of the leader’s pink jersey.

Ewan’s victory in a sprint finish was overshadowed by several crashes in the final 15 kilometers. The most serious involved one of the favorites, Mikel Landa, who was taken away in an ambulance.

“He was in pain, we’re not sure if he has fractured his collarbone or his wrist,” Team Bahrain Victorious sporting director Franco Pellizotti said. “We’re disappointed but our Giro continues.”

The incident occurred after American cyclist Joseph Dombrowski hit a race marshal signaling an obstacle in the middle of the road, causing a crash.

Dombrowski, who had been second overall after winning the previous stage, was able to continue but finished more than eight minutes behind Ewan. The consequences were more serious for Landa, who received swift treatment before being taken to hospital.

Pavel Sivakov’s hopes of overall victory are also in tatters after he was involved in another crash. The Ineos Grenadiers rider managed to get up and change bicycles but had no chance of catching the high-speed peloton.

Ewan was also involved in a late tangle with Tim Merlier but managed to stay upright and edge ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo in the final 50 meters of the flat and straight 177-kilometer (110-mile) route from Modena to Cattolica on the Adriatic coast.

“The sprint itself was reasonably straight forward,” Ewan said. “It was slightly uphill in the last few 100 meters. I went to the right side and got boxed in. I moved a bit to the left and I had enough time to come around in the end.”

It was an 11th second-place finish in the Giro for Nizzolo, who has never won a Grand Tour stage. Elia Viviani was third.

De Marchi remained 42 seconds ahead of Louis Vervaeke, who moved into second. Nelson Oliveira is third, 48 seconds behind De Marchi.

“It’s pretty simple tomorrow: I’ll fight until the end,” De Marchi said. “I’ll pay attention to make sure no one dangerous in the GC gets away. I’m ready to do my best.

“Wearing the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey) is demanding but it’s a light weight to carry considering how nice it is to bear these responsibilities.”

The sixth stage is the toughest test yet, with three classified climbs – including the race’s first summit finish along the mountainous 160-kilometer (99-mile) route from Grotte di Frasassi to Ascoli Piceno.

The Giro finishes on May 30 in Milan with an individual time trial.

Davide Rebellin dies after hit by truck while training

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MILAN — Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin, one of the sport’s longest-serving professionals, died after being struck by a truck while training. He was 51.

Rebellin was riding near the town of Montebello Vicentino in northern Italy when he was hit by a truck near a motorway junction. The vehicle did not stop, although Italian media reported that the driver may have been unaware of the collision.

Local police are working to reconstruct the incident and find the driver.

Rebellin had only retired from professional cycling last month, bringing to an end a career that had spanned 30 years. He last competed for Work Service-Vitalcare-Dynatek and the UCI Continental team posted a tribute on its social media accounts.

“Dear Davide, keep pedaling, with the same smile, the same enthusiasm and the same passion as always,” the Italian team said. “This is not how we imagined the future together and it is not fair to have to surrender so suddenly to your tragic absence.”

“To your family, your loved ones, your friends and all the enthusiasts who, like us, are crying for you right now, we just want to say that we imagine you on a bicycle, looking for new roads, new climbs and new challenges even up there, in the sky.”

Rebellin’s successes included victories at Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico as well as winning a stage in the 1996 edition of the Giro d’Italia, which he also led for six stages.

Rebellin won silver in the road race at the 2008 Olympic Games, but he was later stripped of his medal and banned for two years after a positive doping test. He had denied wrongdoing.

CAS upholds Nairo Quintana DQ from Tour de France for opioid use

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The disqualification of two-time Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana from his sixth place in the 2022 race for misuse of an opioid was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS said its judges dismissed Quintana’s appeal and agreed with the International Cycling Union that the case was a medical matter rather than a doping rules violation. He will not be banned.

The court said the judges ruled “the UCI’s in-competition ban on tramadol was for medical rather than doping reasons and was therefore within the UCI’s power and jurisdiction.”

Traces of the synthetic painkiller tramadol were found in two dried blood spot samples taken from the Colombian racer five days apart in July, the UCI previously said.

Quintana’s case is among the first to rely on the dried blood spot (DBS) method of collecting samples which the World Anti-Doping Agency approved last year.

Tramadol was banned in 2019 from use at cycling races because of potential side effects. They include the risk of addiction, dizziness, drowsiness and loss of attention.

Quintana finished second in the Tour de France in 2013 and 2015, won both times by Chris Froome. He won the 2014 Giro d’Italia.